Our school has removed physical education teachers and has replaced them with more STEM teachers. Why isn’t the health and physical well-being of our kids considered important?
Each state has its own standards for physical education and its own requirements for how those standards must be met. If there is an allowance for a licensed teacher to teach physical education, even without a physical education background, regular classroom teachers may be given that responsibility. They can meet the standards requirements by providing basic activities, although a great deal is lacking when experts in the field of physical education are not involved.
School corporations are being pushed to create learning environments heavily weighted by STEM experiences (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). As they look to divvy up their limited financial resources, administrators are required to make difficult decisions about what should be prioritized. In spite of research showing the need to develop positive habits for children in regards to their physical health, physical education often falls to the bottom of the priority list.
If parents around you share your concern, you can work together to gather information and approach your local school board about a change. It will be important for you to understand what your state requires, exactly how the schools are meeting those requirements now, how schools in neighboring communities and states prioritize physical education, and how the field of pediatrics views the need for physical education.
Ask the Teacher is written by Deb Krupowicz, a mother of four who holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Deb has over twenty years of experience teaching preschool, elementary and middle school students. Please send your questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org